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Graduate courses

Departments' graduate courses for PhD-students.


Syllabus for

Academic year
FAS010 - Astrophysical dynamics
Syllabus adopted 2017-02-18 by Head of Programme (or corresponding)
Owner: MPPAS
7,5 Credits
Grading: TH - Five, Four, Three, Fail
Education cycle: Second-cycle
Major subject: Electrical Engineering, Engineering Physics

Teaching language: English
Open for exchange students
Block schedule: C

Course module   Credit distribution   Examination dates
Sp1 Sp2 Sp3 Sp4 Summer course No Sp
0101 Examination 7,5c Grading: TH   7,5c   Contact examiner

In programs

MPPAS PHYSICS AND ASTRONOMY, MSC PROGR, Year 1 (compulsory elective)


Docent  Alessandro Romeo

  Go to Course Homepage


In order to be eligible for a second cycle course the applicant needs to fulfil the general and specific entry requirements of the programme that owns the course. (If the second cycle course is owned by a first cycle programme, second cycle entry requirements apply.)
Exemption from the eligibility requirement: Applicants enrolled in a programme at Chalmers where the course is included in the study programme are exempted from fulfilling these requirements.

Course specific prerequisites

The course is open to 4th/5th-year students (or students at an equivalent
level) and graduate students with background in physics and mathematics.


Astrophysical Dynamics is an important field in both cosmology and
astrophysics. It includes a wide variety of topics, strongly
connected with fundamental physics: the formation of stars and
galaxies in the Universe, the dynamics of super-massive black holes
and its impact on galaxy evolution, dark matter, galactic turbulence
and fractality, and many more. This course will give you a solid
background in this field. You will also have the opportunity to
start, directly after the course, an exciting Master's thesis work on
a topic with strong impact on modern research.

Learning outcomes (after completion of the course the student should be able to)

The goal of this course is to make the students familiar with the dynamics of fluids in astrophysics and cosmology, and to make them understand the similarities and differences between gas dynamics, stellar dynamics and plasma physics. The students will learn actively through interaction with the teacher and with each other. The students will play an active role in the course not only during lectures and exercises, which will involve them in thinking and discussing, but also at the exam: the students will teach each other important astrophysical applications of the material learned in the course.


Basics about fluids; the equations of motion; simple applications, illustrated with funny experiments; instabilities; turbulence; astrophysical fractals: interstellar medium and galaxies in the Universe; shocks; magnetic fields; gas dynamics vs. stellar dynamics and plasma physics. Birth, life (and death?) of a galaxy: a step-by-step problem. Multi-scale relations in disc galaxies: spirals, bars and central super-massive black holes. A Toomre-like stability criterion for the clumpy and turbulent interstellar medium. Dark matter in galaxies.


Lectures, exercises and seminars on hot topics.


Course notes, complemented by selected references on specific topics.


The exam is in the form of a seminar. The topic is chosen by the student from a selected list of issues with strong impact on modern research.

Page manager Published: Thu 04 Feb 2021.